Thursday, March 24, 2016

E Komo Mai - Welcome to Aloha on My Mind (Bio and Contact)


After meeting Barbara Vey last week (link), I realized I needed to update all my blogs with a short bio and contact info.  

From the Sunshine State to the Chesapeake Bay, I have been blessed with the opportunity to sample many cultures. I grew up in Miami, attended high school in Clearwater, and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Tampa. My commission in the United States Air Force led to assignments in Boston, Germany, the Pentagon, and Illinois, thus feeding my love of international travel.  

I traded my dog tags for a diaper bag, becoming a mother to two boys (and four cats) while following my military husband to the Netherlands, Baltimore, Pearl Harbor, and back to Baltimore. Along the way, we have traveled throughout Europe, Egypt, Japan, Korea, and China.

I created this blog while living in Hawaii as a means to share the Aloha Spirit with romance readers who follow my book blog, SOS Aloha.  I now live outside Baltimore, bringing the Aloha Spirit to Charm City ... plus pictures from anywhere I travel.

I enjoy dark chocolate, long walks, and historic places.

Connect with me ....

Email: sos.aloha@yahoo.com

Twitter: twitter.com/sosaloha

Facebook: facebook.com/sos.aloha

Book Blog - SOS Aloha, sosaloha.blogspot.com

Travel Blog - Aloha On My Mind, alohaonmymind.blogspot.com

Virtual Consultant - Aloha Author Assistant,
alohaauthor.blogspot.com

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Thursday, February 25, 2016

Aloha to Puerto Rico - Isle of Enchantment

Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Public Domain (link)

This week I am featuring places I will visit this year.  On Tuesday, we chatted about San Diego at this link.  Today we chat about Puerto Rico where hubby and I will spend our 20th anniversary in the fall.

I lived in Puerto Rico for three years as a toddler - I have no memory of the tropical isle.  But I am intrigued by the Spanish heritage and natural beauty.  Here are some sights to see ....

Castillo San Felipe del Morro:  From the National Park Service (link),

Castillo San Felipe del Morro, (El Morro) sits atop a high promontory overlooking the entrance to the San Juan Bay. It is the result of the efforts of Spanish engineers over a period of more than 250 years and is one of the largest fortifications built by the Spain in the Caribbean. Although its foundation was laid in 1539, the six-level fortification was not considered complete until 1787. 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro from El Cañuelo
Public Domain (link)

El Yunque National Forest:  From USDA Forest Service (link),

A visit to the El Yunque National Forest is a special experience. We are the only tropical rainforest in the National Forest System. Only in El Yunque can you see the giant tree ferns and tropical birds such as the Puerto Rican Parrot. Only from El Yunque can you enjoy vistas of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Four images from around the forest: tropical flower, parrots, tropical trees, brick tower

Old San Juan: From the National Park Service (link),

The Viejo San Juan on the island of Puerto Rico was reluctantly founded by the famous Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León in 1519. With time, thanks to its advantageous geographic location, the center flourished and became the punta de lanza (point of the spear) of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.

Aerial view of Fort San Felipe del Morro and Old San Juan
Aerial view of Old San Juan
Public Domain (link)

What do you know about Puerto Rico?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 28.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

1766 map of San Juan
Public Domain (link)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Aloha to San Diego - America's Finest City

F/A-18 Hornet flying over San Diego
Public Domain (link)

I recently booked my flight to San Diego for the RWA Annual Conference (link).   I arrive four days before the conference to soak up the local sights:

Gaslamp District, from its website (link),

In an effort to establish a town on San Diego’s waterfront, San Franciscan William Heath Davis begins developing land near what is now the foot of Market Street. For his own family, Davis builds a pre-framed lumber “salt box” house, one of the first residences in town. The oldest surviving structure in San Diego’s New Town was actually built on the East Coast and shipped around Cape Horn. After an economic depression causes Davis’ venture to fail, his town becomes known as Rabbitville, for its principal inhabitants.


gaslamp.org

Coronado Island, from the Visitor's Center (link), 

Modern-day Coronado began in 1885 with the purchase of a one-time Spanish rancho that spanned Coronado, North Island and the Silver Strand. A small partnership led by Elisha Babcock and Hampton Story purchased all this for a mere $110,000. Their vision was to establish “the grandest hotel on the Pacific coast” set within a master-planned community featuring wide avenues, parklands, handsome public buildings, and attractive beachside residences.

Coronado Bay Bridge
Public Domain (link)

USS Midway, from Wikipedia (link)

USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of its class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. aircraft carrier too big to transit the Panama Canal. It operated for an unprecedented 47 years, during which time it saw action in the Vietnam War and served as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, it is now amuseum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego.

Learn more about the USS Midway at midway.org.

Midway in 1963 after SCB-110
Public Domain (link)

Authors - if you want to join me for preconference sightseeing, please contact me at sos.aloha@yahoo.com.

Readers - can you recommend places to see or eat in San Diego?  Or do you want to visit San Diego, too?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 28.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

A surfer at Black's Beach
Public Domain (link)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Aloha to the USS New Jersey (Part 3)

From USS New Jersey's Twitter Feed (link)

My son's scout troop stayed aboard the Battleship New Jersey the night before the snow.   It was too windy to raise the flag on deck in the morning.  So they jumped right into breakfast!


Hubby took pictures throughout the overnight encampment, trying to find the perfect images for this blog.  


The ship's silver is locked up ... 


.... while the china set is more accessible.


Gotta love the art work!


Each hallway is labeled in this fashion ...


... and here's the translation!


Thank you, Battleship New Jersey, for your distinguished service!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about working aboard a ship - what would be your job?  I'd like to be Julie the cruise director from The Love Boat!

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Battleship New Jersey in the morning sun ...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Aloha to the Battleship New Jersey (Part 2)

USS New Jersey
Battleship New Jersey
Public Domain (link)

Continuing the scouts' overnight encampment aboard the Battleship New Jersey, from it website,

BB62 was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and launched December 7, 1942- just a year after the Pearl Harbor Attack brought America into WWII.  


The USS NEW JERSEY (BB62) was actually the second ship to be called “NEW JERSEY”, the first being BB16, a turn of the century (19th century) battleship. The first Battleship New Jersey (BB-16) was a Virginia class pre-dreadnought that served from 1906 until she was sunk as a bombing target in 1922. She sailed with the Great White Fleet and served her country in World War I as a training vessel.


NEW JERSEY was decommissioned on February 8, 1991 in Long Beach, California and later towed to Bremerton, Washington where she resided until heading home to New Jersey. She was officially stricken from the Navy list on February 12,1995 but was then ordered reinstated by an order of congress as a mobilization asset under Bill 1024 section 1011.
 

On January 4, 1999 NEW JERSEY was again stricken from the Navy list and IOWA replaced her as a mobilization asset. On September 12, 1999 NEW JERSEY began her Final Voyage home from Bremerton, where she had rested in mothballs for the last 8 years. On November 11th, she arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Since that time, she has been restored, opened and established as an educational museum and a tribute to the brave sailors who served on her during her long and distinguished career. The Battleship New Jersey opened as a Museum and Memorial in October 2001.


This is the panel which allows the crew to turn the ship around .... hands off!


The guide reminded the scouts to obey "no entry signs" ...


... lest the scouts fall several stories down the rabbit hole.  It has a long ladder to allow sailors in the lower levels of the ship to escape quickly to safety.


 Time for lights out ... but not in the officers' quarters!


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter from this week's posts.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about ships - have you visited any or cruised on any?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Monday, February 15, 2016

Aloha to the Battleship New Jersey - Part 1


My son's Scout Troop stayed overnight on the Battleship New Jersey.  From Wikipedia (link),

USS New Jersey (BB-62; "Big J" or "Black Dragon") is an Iowa-class battleship, and was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the US state of New Jersey. New Jersey earned more battle stars for combat actions than the other three completed Iowa-class battleships, and was the only US battleship providing gunfire support during the Vietnam War.

Black Dragons in the gift shop ... 

During World War II, New Jersey shelled targets on Guam and Okinawa, and screened aircraft carriers conducting raids in the Marshall Islands. During the Korean War, she was involved in raids up and down the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet". She was briefly reactivated in 1968 and sent to Vietnam to support US troops before returning to the mothball fleet in 1969. Reactivated once more in the 1980s as part of the 600-ship Navy program, New Jersey was modernized to carry missiles and recommissioned for service. In 1983, she participated in US operations during the Lebanese Civil War.

Battle ribbons

New Jersey was decommissioned for the last time in 1991 (after serving a total of 21 years in the active fleet), having earned a Navy Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam and 19 battle and campaign stars for combat operations during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War, and service in the Persian Gulf. After a brief retention in the mothball fleet, she was donated to the Home Port Alliance in Camden, New Jersey, and began her career as a museum ship 15 October 2001.
 

The Scouts descend upon the floating museum.


The scouts learned to walk backwards down the stairs into the mess hall.


Anchors Aweigh!


Glad to see the ship hosted a library ...


... and a chapel!


The scouts ate dinner in the Enlisted Mess Hall ... all American chicken nuggets with mac and cheese.  

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter from this week's posts.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about New Jersey - what do you know about the Garden State?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21, at SOS Aloha, sosaloha.blogspot.com.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Friday, February 12, 2016

Aloha to Tampa International Airport - Souvenirs, Anyone?


As I waited for my flight to Baltimore, I walked around the Tampa Airport.  I didn't realize Florida was famous for saltwater taffy ... 


... or coconut patties in classic original, key lime, and pina colada.


As much as I love chocolate, I don't think I could eat an alligator.


This looks like a comfy pillow ...


... Tampa loves pink flamingos and green alligators!  What would we find at the airport nearest you?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blog posts wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, February 13, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, February 14, at SOS Aloha (link).

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Goodbye, Tampa ...